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noting that hagel is going to meet with senator schumer. it could be a crucial moment in the obama administration efforts to advance the nomination tohagel. he is expected to press mr. hagel on issues concerning iran and israel. who else is hagel set to meet with the this week? >> hagel has been starting to make the rounds on -- he's already started to make the rounds on the telephone and there's been -- there's been some reporting out there on where he's sort of going. he's going to have to. >> you can find the rest of this conversation online. we take you to the floor of the house convening.
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denham, an
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>> chairman schuster laid the groundwork in 2006 when his post-karina reform act authorized fema to conduct a number of recovery programs. costs of dramatically reduced, projects were completed faster and the process was more
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efficient. without making permanent the debris removal program, the taxpayer could pay six times the cost of debris removal and it could take much longer. the individuals and households pilot program incorporated in this bill would reduce costs by a similar amount and make temporary housing available faster. in hearing after hearing before our committee experts, fema and the inspector general's office have all testified communities will be rebuilt faster and taxpayers will save hundreds of millions of dollars with this bill. we know the current process is broken and we finally know how to fix it but we have to change the law by march or it will be too late to apply lessons to sandy recovery. it's been nearly eight years since hurricane katrina and there are still projects unresolved. want to make the same mistakes happen with hurricane sandy. these reforms will help address those problems, stream line the process and allow communities to
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rebuild faster, smarter and save money. >> i want to the thank mr. shuster, mr. had rahall and mr. denim for their important work to bring this matter to the floor so soon after the weekend, after the recess. and i associate myself with the remarks of mr. denim. i therefore rise in support of h.r.219, the sandy recovery improvement act of 2013.
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this bipartisan measure consists of reforms to expedite the recovery process for those communities that received disaster declarations for hurricane sandy as well as the future presidential declared disasters. i believe this may be the first time these reforms with any significant event have been tested. because many of the provisions included in the bill are matters that we have long worked for and that were incorporated into similar legislation in past congresses. several of the provisions will streamline the rebuilding process to provide jobs in the region as to achieve full recovery. the measure is also supported by the international association of emergency managers, the association of state flood plain managers, the national league of
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cities and a number of more. after hurricanes katrina and rita, conditioning enacted two pilot programs -- one for debris removal and another allowing fema to make limited repairs instead of lease payments to provide housing when cheaper than using temporary trailers. both pilot programs were successful and resulted in savings for the federal government. local governments and emergency management professionals have discussed the need to make the debris remove program permanent to expedite debris recovery. the housing program will be especially useful in large urban areas such as new york city where temporary trailers simply are not an option. this bill could codify both expired pilot programs providing additional tools for fema to help communities recover.
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this measure would also authorize fema to use fixed grants based on cost estimates at the request of local community, another favor we have been pressing for years. although conditioning authorized fema to use cost estimating 12 years ago the way the insurance industry does, for example, fema has not done so. the new authorization includes incentives for local communities to use cost estimating by allowing them to rebuild according to today's needs and eliminating the delays in the recovery process caused by cost disputes. moreover this provision allows fema and the applicant to mutually agree on an expert to the prepare a cost estimate to be relied upon by fema instead of using an adversarial process,
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madam speaker. where each a dispute as to whi ch
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i am pleased to state that this bill includes a three-year dispute resolution pilot program for fema, the draft procedures in order to expedite project closure and decreased recovery costs caused by project delays. madam speaker, i strongly urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. denham: madam speaker, i wish to yield five minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, the new chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee, mr. shuster. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for five minutes. mr. shuster: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from california, mr. denham, for his leadership and for sponsoring this important legislation. i'm proud to have -- we're proud to have strong bipartisan support. thanks goes to member rahall and ms. holmes norton for her support on this and working
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closely with us. in fact, the gentlelady from washington, d.c. worked closely together eight years ago on these reforms that will expand from pilot programs. i'd like to acknowledge mr. mica, who's been a leader on this issue, and also to thank mr. palazzo from mississippi who offered important suggestions to improve this legislation. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor and these bipartisan federal emergency management agency and disaster recovery improvements will speed up and streamline hurricane sandy recovery efforts. they'll also and importantly reduce costs. we work to target improvements that will specifically help communities in the immediate aftermath of sandy. these: critical bipartisan reforms supported by fema and key experts and stakeholders, including, we understand, from fema administrator few gait that these -- fugate that these must happen by march 1. i worked on these issues since
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serving on the committee with the gentlelady from washington, d.c. eight years ago. at that time i witnessed the devastation following hurricane katrina. we saw our emergency management capability broke down and significant reforms were needed. we crafted legislation that put fema back together again within the department of homeland security, reformed and strengthened our response capability and created pilot programs to test innovative ways to improve our recovery process. while we made significant improvement in disaster preparedness and response since hurricane katrina, there's so much red tape that building takes several years longer than it should. the longer communities take to build the higher the economic losses to these communities and the more it costs to taxpayers. the pilot programs we created after katrina laid the foundation for many of these reforms. from debris removal to the individuals and household pilot program, the savings were significant and in some cases up to six times less expensive.
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and these pilot programs did not just save money but me actually got things done faster. sandy recovery improvement act builds on the important work we started after hurricane katrina, specifically the sandy recovery and improvement act will streamline environmental reviews, allow greater flexibility to reduce building time, to reduce debris removal cost, to provide less expensive housing cost and reduce costs for future disasters. as chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee, i look forward to working on fema re-authorizing bills in the future and move other important fema reforms in congress. however, i know fema needs these reforms so i urge my colleagues to support this and in order to save hundreds of millions of dollars on sandy recovery. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: first, let me say i appreciate the gentleman's remarks comparing to what we all -- we were both on the
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committee at the time of hurricane katrina. i can tell you we never expected to see anything like it, particularly in this part of the country. i certainly agree with the time that has been put to finally get these reforms done. this is the time to get it done, when we got a huge katrina-like event and got everybody's attention and we're going to save millions upon millions of dollars. i thank the gentleman, and i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. holt: i commend the work of my colleagues on this bill. it has some good features and should help smooth the way for recovery from hurricane sandy. the delay in getting this bill and more importantly the delay on getting the supplemental appropriations bill for hurricane sandy to the floor
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has only compounded problems for sandy's victims in new jersey and elsewhere. i wish that this bill had included language removing a real impediment faced by our towns. i'm told that the appropriators in the legislation coming to the floor tomorrow are showing unusual respect for house rules and won't use their supplemental appropriations bill to change legislation but only to appropriate funds. so that the standards 6535 army corps of engineers formula will not be changed. in other words, towns must you put up 35% of the project cost for the corps of engineers to make the repairs that they would make. and the construction costs are high. many towns in my state will not be able to come up with the 35%
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cost share match for a multimillion-dollar construction project. but the appropriators aren't authorizers, they say. well, what we have before us now is coming from the authorizing committee. they could have fixed this, and i wish this bill had been brought up in such a way that we could fix this match. as the president had asked in his request for the emergency funds. . this bill should streamline the process but we should have a 90-10 match. so that these towns that are strapped for funds because of the damage of hurricane san joaquin and because they've exceeded -- sandy and because they've exceeded their borrowing limits would be able to come up with a smaller amount of money so that the construction by the corps of engineers could get under way. i'm happy to see this streamlined process that will get aid to individuals and
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municipalities in the wake of future storms like hurricane sandy. i wish that we could have used this opportunity to fix the 65-35 match and make it a 90-10 match as the president had requested. that certainly would have helped the towns in new jersey and connecticut and new york. and i thank the gentlelady for yielding the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. >> i would just remind the gentleman from new jersey that this bill was passed in september by this house and has been sitting in the senate september, even though the president's own appointee, director fugate, has been asking for this bill. it has been sitting. so we're looking forward to a bipartisan solution that gets done before march. so that we can actually help out the sandy relief fund. i just wanted to point to a couple quick facts. mr. denham: the katrina use study center project example in louisiana, as you'll see from this chart, katrina started in
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2005. that was the disaster. here's what the governor's office has put together. this one project isn't going to be done until 2016. after 18 meetings and seven years of bureaucratic red tape this one project won't be done until 2016. that's if all goes well. louisiana hopes to finish this. that's 11 years after katrina. the single biggest factor in cost increases is time and these delays will almost double the project from $15 million to $28 million. fema has spent almost $5 million on a temporary facility alone. there are literally thoupses of projects like this a-- thousands of projects like this across the gulf coast and there will be thousands more of budget-busting projects in new york and new jersey if we don't get has to reforms signed into laufment at this time, madam speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for three minutes. plazzplazz thank you, madam speaker. i rise today -- mr. palazzo: thank you, mr. speaker.
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i rise today in support of this act. i want to thank chairman shuster, congressman denham and the entire transportation infrastructure committee for their work to bring this very important piece of disaster relief reform legislation to the floor this week. last tuesday i had the opportunity to travel to the hardest-hit areas of new york and new jersey to see firsthand the damage caused by hurricane san joaquin -- sandy. it immediately reminded me of the devastation we in mississippi experienced after hurricane katrina just seven years ago. when you look at the response to hurricanes such as sandy and katrina and other superstorms that have hit in recent years, there is no doubt in my mind that we have a broken system. last week i took a vote against propping up a bankrupt and broken system without any serious reforms. and today i proudly stand before this body to advocate for some commonsense reforms on how we administer disaster relief. the sandy recovery improvement act of 2013 scheduled for
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consideration today is the first step in a much -- in a much longer process of reforming our disaster relief system. improving resiliency, increasing mitigation efforts and changing the way we pay for disaster relief will be key to this discussion. i'm especially grateful for the committee's work in adding my language to this bill that will require fema to develop recommendations to congress for a national strategy to reduce future costs and loss of life associated with these extreme weather events. make no mistake, the northeast needs our help now in ensuring the victims of sandy receive the relief they so desperately require and need and i want to encourage my colleagues to join me in support of both today's bill and the remaining sandy relief measures we will take up this week. but i also believe there's no better time to address the very real needs of our broken disaster relief system. we must not only build back, we must build forward. that's why i'm proud to support this legislation, to improve and
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streamline disaster relief in our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to see that the gentleman from mississippi has done what we have always done when any part of our country faces disaster, we all closed in and we really closed in like nothing you've ever seen when mississippi and louisiana and nobody from the east coast rose to have any problem with moving in. what reforms this bill now contains are reforms that chairman denham and before chairman denham came to the congress, reforms that have been in our bill for some time, it is true that these have not come out and we have got a lever now to get them out and when we get them out they're going to help mississippi and louisiana and they have more of this than the east coast has ever had and it's going to help all the unforeseen
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places that now we are seeing experience precisely what only certain parts of the country before had had to endure. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker and i thank very much the gentlelady for the clarification from the district of columbia and i frankly thank you for having the wisdom in months and years back to have these corrections and these improvements in fema and i know they welcome it. i am a senior member of the homeland security committee and served as a ranking member on the transportation security. but no first -- know firsthand as the committee that shares jurisdiction over fema, firsthand in living color the catastrophe and tragedy of hurricane katrina, both in my visits and almost living in new orleans, as many of our members did, and then in welcoming over a quarter of a million-plus of
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new orleansans into houston, texas. being there inside the astrodome and seeing eons and layers of beds of people who are americans and who were americans who one could not call them broken. those survivors, if you will, from hurricane katrina were not broken. they were people who had worked and had homes and paid taxes. so today, madam speaker, those who are survivors of hurricane sandy are not broken. they are not the cornerstone of the fault of bureaucracy or misuse. they are in fact survivors. they are americans who need our help. and i'd like to add to this discussion, certainly i join and want to comment on one or two of the changes here. in particular the individual assistance factors i think will be very helpful to expedite the declaration process for individuals.
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i'm very grateful that one of the changes they made, thank goodness, and this is what happened to our seniors, fixing their homes instead of putting them in fema trailers. what a celebration. how many had to stay in fema trailers down in the gulf forever and ever and ever while they watched their homes deteriorate because a few simple repairs could not be made? that is a much-needed step. but i join my colleague from new jersey and say, how can people who are broken and who are in need come up with 35%? and i hope that this will be one that is reconsidered. let me quickly suggest that i am in support of the $5.4 billion for fema disaster relief. i'm in support for the $5.4 billion for the department of transportation. anybody who's been on the east coast and seen the transportation corridor and the congestion and the sin jism between new jersey, pennsylvania, connecticut and new york realize that this is crucial.
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the $3.9 billion for community block grant, i am told that there are hurricane sandy islanders, people on stanton island, people on kony island, who are living in new york downtown hotels. i'm sure in a better day they would enjoy living in highrise, high-class hotels but they are people who want to go back to their home and i'm delighted that we'll have that. and then i want to support the additional amendment that calls for the gentleman from new jersey, $33 million, unvetted dollars, that will help an additional -- in additional resources. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. does -- ms. norton: i yield the gentlelady 30 more seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentlelady. and i believe that we should have done this last week. but i know that my colleagues will be reading the constitution tomorrow. so let me read from article one, section eight. the congress shall have power to
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lay and collect taxes, duties imposed and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the united states. my god, my god, can we provide for the general welfare of those hurricane sandy survivors who are not victims but have lost loved ones and in fact are the second most costly hurricane in america's history, katrina, sandy and hurricane ike. i speak from what i know. i beg of this congress to vote for the new jersey amendment for $33 billion and as well the others and let us be able to look back on their needs and go back to the table to help them if they are in need. constitution asks us to do that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. denham: madam speaker, the sandy recovery improvement act will speed up recovery efforts and reduce costs. i want to just touch on one important piece of this legislation. it will allow greater flexibility to reduce rebuilding
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time and lower costs. this gives the local governments greater flexibility to consolidate or rebuild facilities by allowing fema to issue fix grants on the basis of damage estimates instead of a traditional reimbursement program. why that's important, in my area, in the central valley of california, we had huge flooding. and as any emergency, you're not prepared, you didn't anticipate it, especially where we have such a huge shortage of water in the central valley. when the flooding hit, there was a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between local, state and federal government, who pays for what, a lot of delays and waiting. with these cost estimates up front, we basically just say, spend the money on those estimates and the fema money is there immediately. so, we not only helped to reduce costs but most importantly when you've got a devastated community, what you need is speed. of recovery. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia.
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ms. norton: i want to agree with the chairman of the subcommittee about cost estimates. and how it saves money and how it is one of the many lessons learned that i think will be acted out in this bill. madam speaker, this bill is a down payment, we all understand this. we understand that the devastation done in four states i believe it is was of a magnitude of what we experienced for the first time at the gulf coast. and we are all going to come around and we're going to do what we're supposed to do at times like this. but when we have a major event like this, it dup does not pay the -- it does not pay to simply go along doing things the way we have always done them. this is when things get corrected, this bill is a good step toward correcting what our committee and our subcommittee
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have tried to do for years now. i appreciate all the effort of my friends and colleagues on the other side and of course mr. gray hall and our friends who have also in a bipartisan fashion pushed for these changes and now have an opportunity to see how they work in a will betory that is a very big -- in a laboratory that is a very big one, indeed, far larger than we expected, but one from which we will also learn what is yet still to be learned about these mainly disasters. -- major disasters. madam speaker, i have no more speakers and i am pleased to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. denham: madam speaker, just in closing i want to talk about one final example and it deals with the debris removal. our bill dealing with debris removal will change literally, saving hundreds of millions of dollars, without the change in law, fema was able to get a 30-day pilot program, this is with sandy, had a 30-day pilot
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program wherein new jersey, utilizing the pilot program, they removed debris for $19 per cubic yard. in long island, using the army corps of engineers, it was $129 per yard. that is a huge significant savings. one that in the debris removal part of this, the 30-day pilot is time for it to move along and have -- become part of law. we need to do this now. this bill has broad support from a number of different areas, including the national league of cities, the united states conference of mayors, the association of state flood plain managers, disaster recovery contractors association, the national association of counties, the united south and eastern tribes incorporated, just to name a few with that, madam chair, i would ask for a favorable vote and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house
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suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 219. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12 of rule -- 12-a of rule 1rk the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 6:30
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highlights of the new rules and how they will work. >> basically, what these rules are designed to do, is to prevent the kind of poisonous, predatory mortgages from being written. these with mortgages that lower the lot of people into the loans, and they were unable to repay them, under any
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circumstances and they had all of these complex features that were very difficult to understand. these rules are designed to prevent another round of some prime mortgage crisis from happening. >> take us through some of these rules. >> some of them are designed to make sure that the banks put out loans that are understandable, that have characteristics that -- the consumer protection board believes are characteristic of such mortgages to make sure that the key element -- to make sure that the borrower will have the ability to pay the mortgage over time. that is probably the leading characteristic. >> any say that the rules were put in place to stop the poisonous, predatory mortgages.
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so what were some of the practices that allow the banks to give out these mortgages? >> first of all there were many mortgages that were written without any consideration for the borrower, and as we know and have learned in the last five years many of these loans were made with complete disregard for checking on the income of the borrower. there were concerns about the loans being repaid, because the bank was selling these loans down the line, to the investors and they were bidding package, and put into mortgage securities that were sold to the investors. the banks making the loan did not care whether the loan would perform overtime. so these rules were designed to stop that kind of practice, and some of the loans had character such that -- you would not have to pay any principal down over
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time, and you could choose to pay only the interest, or choose to pay only a fraction of the interest that was due each month. those were some of the loans that appeared to be very affordable, but in reality, they were extremely costly to the borrower who did not understand them. >> for the viewers who may have questions about the new rules put in place the phone lines are open. we're talking with gretchen morgan soon, the assistant director at the "new york times." also taking your questions on face book and twitter as well. tell me when these new rules go into effect. what is the timing for the
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people who are willing to get loans and when they will be working under these new rules. >> over the next year they are supposed to go into effect. i am not sure of that question, but they will go into effect pretty soon, and we have been hammering them out for months and months, so this is really the first big initiative, for the protection bureau. they don't want a lot of time to elapse between now and when they go into recess. >> this is progress on mortgage regulation, with the editorial from last week that came out, and it notes that the rules will be supplemented by regulation and the federal reserve and to create aies bynu qualified mortgage.
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can you tell me about the new category of loan? >> a qualified mortgage would be a mortgage that is characterized as, say 4 sound from the regulatory standpoint. the qualified residential mortgage, that would involve what kind of a down payment that would be required in the qualified residential mortgage, and would this be 20% down, which has been historically very common over the years, or would this be less? they are hammering out the aspects of these loans that they consider qualified. and if the idea is that the loans that the bank makes to not have those characteristics, then the bank would have to keep part of that loan on its own books,
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and that would eliminate the idea of churning out the loans with no reference to the ability to repay them, and selling them to investors down the line. this idea of having banks be required to hold onto a portion of the loan, that does not qualify under these rules, is designed to prevent that kind of off-loading of the garbage loans. >> and helps them from scanning the game? >> we showed richard earlier, talking about with the new rules came from, talking about these new types of loans that are being created. >> under the new rules, qualified mortgages cannot contain certain features that have formed consumers, that cannot have excessive fees that are imposed on the borrower at
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the offset of the loan, and not risky loans were this increases rather than paying down the loan. and the cannot place a large financial burden on the borrower. and the mortgage payment such as taxes and insurance cannot add up to more than 43% of the monthly gross income of the consumer. the standard here will provide a real measure of protection to the borrowers and mortgage protection. >> we're talking with gretchen morganson, and i want to bring in some callers, vote -- vernon from oklahoma city. >> i am tickled to death that the government is setting rules for the financial industry, when it comes to the home market.
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people work all of their lives to provide a home and get this paid off before they retire. this is the one single line that the government needs to regulate, to describe that we're finally doing that. dickau has left the barn, but now we have a line in the sand and hopefully we can maintain that. is there something in place that this will not ever be changed back to what we have already been through? >> this is an excellent question and i would add another question to that one, which is, will the regulators have the appetite to regulate this closely, and make sure that banks are prepared -- are abiding by these rules. we have a system going back to the years leading up to the crisis where regulators did not feel that regulation was that
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important. the federal reserve, for example felt that the monetary policy and the setting of interest rates was the key focus that they had, and it was not of any concern to them, with the consumer predatory lending. my hope is not that these rules will remain in effect and not be watered down, by any sort of congressional intervention, but also that the regulators who are charged with enforcing these rules will be very vigilant and make sure that they are enforced. >> the caller brings up the point that these rules are finally here after the horse has left the barn. he talked about the rules that were in forest three or four years ago when these issues
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began to bubble up? >> there were early, no rules in place and you had to -- there were many documents for the paperwork requirements you had to fill out when you applied for a mortgage, for the banks to give you lending disclosure about this -- and this was still a very complex deal, to get the mortgage and it required signing hundreds of pages of documents, and understanding many parts of the financing puzzle. many borrowers did not understand what they were signing. and the people who were underwriting the loans, they really did not have any interest in explaining them -- like he was talking about, loans for the principle actually grew over
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time, instead of coming down, those little loans i talked about earlier. these are very complex structures and the only real regulation that we had in place was truth in lending, and this was supposed to tell you what you were getting into. all of these affordable mortgages, they were called affordability products because they were designed to help the even lower-income people, who had never had the home before and get into a home, and home prices have skyrocketed. and so, affordability whiskey and crucial and they defined mortgages that were different from the old, conservative, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that we all were familiar with. some of these loans where you had a very low interest rates to
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begin with, and then after several years it would explode much higher. this is what we are aiming -- what the government is wanting to eliminate. >> how much of the responsibility for these loans falls on the bar were for over- committee and to what degree did the lenders commit fraud? >> this is a question that is on everyone's mind, and there is enough blame to go around, as the borrowers were certainly involved in overreaching, and you remember the mania for real estate, you could not go to a barbecue without hearing people talk about how much their house had increased in value. people wanted to get on board that runaway train. if it meant taking on a loan that they did not understand, or
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taking on a loan in which they lied about their income, many borrowers were willing to do that. but my opinion is it really was the bank's responsibility to make sure that the loan was something that could be repaid, and to make sure the person taking this on understood this. there was an element of all of these packages -- and it still goes on today, there is a piece of paper that decide which allows the bank to check on their income, and every bank requires every bar were to sign this, but no bank or very few went to the trouble of checking on the income with the irs. this is where the banks have the opportunity to check on the income that was stated by the borrower, and they did not. i think that the banks were more responsible.
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>> we go to david from long island, on the independent line. good morning. >> about eight years ago i refinanced my house, and this was worth about $850,000. i barred half of the value of my house to extend this period now, the banks are sending me these low-interest rates, and i go back to refinance the house, or read mortgage the mortgage, at 6.75%. the bank tells me i don't make enough income to debt ratio for the house, but i do make enough money to pay 6.75%. and if they gave me the lower rate they have been offering may i would say that least $1,000 per month and that money
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would go back into my business. i wonder how many americans are in the same situation and what we could have done about this. >> there are many, many borrowers who are having trouble refinancing and i hear a lot from them at work, and this is a real problem. the pendulum swing, this had swung way out into the wild west where anyone who was breathing got a mortgage. and now this has swung the other way with the banks are very cautious, and really requiring onerous disclosures, and very conservative income levels. that your story, does
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the bank want to give up 6.75% interest that you were paying on your mortgage? that is a very rich interest level, in our current interest- rate environment. you have to wonder if the bank is not just holding on to your loan to maintain a high level of interest? but i wonder if this may be worth your while to try to go to another bank and not refinance with the same company. it has become a much more difficult circumstance to get a mortgage because the banks are still recovering from all of the bad loans that they made during the real-estate mania. >> one other issue that was brought up was the issue of debt-income ratio, and this is
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something richard spoke about and what he would do with the qualified loans. american hero joe says, what did he mean by 20% of the grossly month in come? explain this issue for us? >> this goes to the heart of the ability to repay the loan issue, that described a little bit ago. we don't want people taking on loans they cannot afford to repay, that leads us to problems. what they have decided is that 43% is the outside level, if your mortgage debt, plus or other debt, with car loans or consumer debt or credit cards, -- if your other obligations of your mortgage exceed 43% of the
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growth or pre-tax income, this is too much and this is a loan that is becoming too onerous, and which you may have trouble repaying. so anything below 43% or 42% is acceptable, as a qualified mortgage. anything above that starts to get into the territory of, you are not going to have enough money left over from all of your financial obligations, to live a reasonable life. >> i want ask you about an issue that floyd norris wrote about in a column from friday. one of the issues that he brought up at the end of this piece was the difficulty to the consumer financial -- will have
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with the industry. he said that the lenders may take it vantage of the consumers and he talked about the balance that the consumer financial protection bureau had to work with here, and that banks would be having to lend money with these new rules? >> this is always a balance and what i was describing a bit ago about the pendulum, if we swing too conservatively or to radically, giving too much money into many loans purses to few. banks are important part of the economy and the finance new job growth and the ability of people to buy a home, which is the largest single investment that
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they will make. we really need for them to be there to help the consumers and businesses finance their operations. the balancing act is not being too strict so that they will draw in and not land but not being too lax. that is a fine line. we shall we shallthe cfpb has achieve that with these rules. financial institutions will complain about any regulation because they did not want to be subject to kinds of rules that instruct them in how to do their business. when you read the complaints from the financial industry, i would say we have to take some
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of those with a grain of salt. host: gretchen morgenson is the "the new york times" assistant business and financial editor. she was co-author of "reckless endangerment.' guest: who basically were the interco parties in creating the crisis decades later. host: don is next from clifton, virginia. caller: a good time to segue the early seeds being sewn. things like the community reinvestment act and barack obama's attorneys forced banks to make it substandard loans. if the regulators had left the banks alone, the government do- gooders, we wouldn't have had all these problems. teargassed is calling for more government involvement and i think that is wrong. host: a chance to respond. -- it was the community reinvestment act and barack obama's attorneys that fored banks to make substandard loans. if the regulators had left the
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banks alone to do their business we wouldn't have had these problems, and now we have your host calling for more government involvement and it is wrong. >> a chance to respond -- guest: when you have a crisis that was this devastating and harmed this many people, i don't think the answer is to go about allowing these institutions to continue down that same path. i have not suggested are called for greater regulations of financial institutions. i have believe that we need to have regulators who have an appetite to regulate. we did not have that during the 2000's and the 1990's. there was a sense that deregulation was the answer and that government was the problem. this led to a free-for-all and
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a wild west in lending that created these problems. i agree with your caller in that the government did set out to promote home ownership. that promotion of home ownership which was instituted with vigor under president clinton in 1995 was a joining of hands between the public and private sector to promote the idea that more people should owned their own home. this idea was a win-win for everyone. a promotion of an idea regardless of how much sense it made and regardless of the rationale. the government encourage business to really relax their standards. the government relaxed its standards in order to promote this role of greater home ownership. it was the road to hell paved
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with good intentions. that is an exact characteristic of what happened. the push for home ownership did create some of these loans that wound up luring some of the most vulnerable people into mortgages that they cannot afford to repay. host: a question for you from twitter, arvind. guest: i think the small community banks came out of the
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crisis with very few bruises and a few black eyes. the large mortgage originators like countrywide and washington mutual, these were companies that were responsible for the lion's share of the mess. if you were to go to your small community banker and ask for their business model and take a look at what their losses were, i think you would find they survive this pretty well intact. they were not a force at all for evil in this mess. now they are subject to greater regulation because they are in the industry that helped create the problem.
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they did not participate on the upside and did not participate in some of the most egregious lending examples, they are being forced to pay the price with greater regulation. host: how big of a market share did the small banks have compared to some of the big boys? guest: very small. we are talking about your local banker. there are two kinds of sets of banks. there are community banks and the larger banks and the mortgage underwriters that were feeding this frenzy. host: anthony is next from baltimore. caller: good morning. i have an important question. i did it all right with a conventional mortgage, fha. in 2008, the bottom fell out, i
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got caught and went under water. now i can i get a refinance and the house is worth nothing. is there anything in the new rules for people like me to get out of this mess that we did not create? what is on the table for us? thank you. guest: these are rules for mortgages to be made going forward. there is nothing in discussion about people in your circumstance, having taken out a mortgage during the mania, paying a price for your home which it is no longer worth and having the loan still out
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standing and having the house worth less than the loan. many people are in this circumstance. circumstance. there are discussions about principle forgiveness. these are nowhere near being decided. there isn't anything for you in the new rules. they are about what to do going forward when you write a mortgage loan. host: there is an announcement that the banks completed an $8.5 billion settlement with regulators. take us through that case. guest: that settlement was
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around -- it was designed to remedy some of the egregious for closure of practices that had harmed quite a few borrowers. these were the fraudulent filings that were made with bankruptcy courts across the country when borrowers or filing for bankruptcy. lenders work rubber-stamp think these things without examining them. when you're going through a bankruptcy process, the law requires banks and their representatives follow strict rules. they were not being followed. we had people forging signatures and filing fraudulent filings with the court. it was a disaster. there was an avalanche of foreclosures. the rule of law does not usually get thrown out the window just because there's a
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tremendous amount of work to be done. it was an egregious series of fraudulent filings. the banks had agreed last week to pay $8.5 billion to borrowers to remedy those situations. the settlement is so unclear. nobody has told anyone about who is going to get the money. if you had a foreclosure, you're in the group of people who are supposed to have been remedied. it is unclear how they are going to divide the $8.5 billion. did it your home get taken away fraudulent filings?
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if so, what did you get? many, many questions remain. it is too soon to say whether it is going to be effective or have any real impact on people who were going through foreclosures in those two years. 4.4 million people are in that category of having been in some portion of the foreclosure machined during 2009, 2010. not everyone of them was subjected to some of this behavior. 4.4 million people is the aggregate number of people. you have to find out those who were harmed -- you have to find out how to reach those who were harmed.
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host: this is your headline back on january 5. guest: it is another settlement, very similar to the 50 state supplement that was struck last year. the government doesn't do the investigation to see how pervasive the problems were and how bad the behaviors were. how can you assign blame and remedies to people if you do not know who was harmed and by how much? "let's get this behind us and throw money at this problem but we don't know the extent of the problem and we do not know how to focus the remedy on the right people." host: karen is next from utah.
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good morning caller: thank you so much. i am getting a good education with the housing market. i cannot help but think other people out there that have had a similar situation. i have a home and got a loan and then the economy goes bad, gas goes up, we cannot make their house payment because all our money is going in the gas tank. then the food market goes up. we are making the house payment. we're at the food bank. my husband gets unemployed. i have refinanced twice so far.
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$8,000 in settlement costs. then i do would began. the government came up with a program where did not have to pay that. i got a lower payment and we are going to make it. it's like nobody is talking about the elephant in the living room. all our money is going into the gas tank. guest: cost of living are going up. the cpi is not going up. anybody who goes to the gas station or supermarket sees that the costs are creeping up.
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that makes it more difficult to make ends meet. i am sympathetic to your situation. it sounds like you now can afford your mortgage. it goes back to the catch 22 which so many borrowers are in. they are either under water or lost their jobs and did not have the income. they cannot refinance. they are stuck paying a higher mortgage. the fed has brought interest rates to near zero to encourage people to refinance. so many people cannot get a new
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loan. the zero interest rate policy is of no help to them. host: we have a question on twitter from sea dog. guest: again, it has not been made clear what the terms of the settlement are, what kinds of circumstances will be those that get the remedy. if there were some egregious examples of a bank trying to foreclose when the person was current on their payments, there is a possibility that the
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borrower could get some money. it seems unlikely if they have walked away from the house that they would be part of the salomon. -- settlement. host: frank from lexington, south carolina, good morning. caller: good morning. i appreciate your comments. a lot of what you're saying is true. i thought i would bring some additional reality. i have a son who has been in business for himself and he is done very well. he has applied for a mortgage. we have gone through three mortgage brokers who cannot present a package because they do not know what the rules are or they are examined by the underwriting departments of these so-called mortgage
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brokerage companies. they are so afraid to make a mistake. they cannot utilize something called common sense. as far as the thinking the banks are the bad guys and what has transpired over the last decade, i think probably president clinton won the sent that letter to relax the standards so more people could realize the american dream of owning their own home and he asked those bankers to relax their standards. the banks had to get creative and create packages so people could qualify for a loan. and then boom, the reselling of all these mortgages came to a screeching halt after about a four purchase turnover rate.
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government is not the answer. they are admitting they are trying to correct the mistakes of the past by putting pressure on banks 10, 12 years ago as far as the placing pressure on banks to make loans more qualified. host: let's give gretchen morgenson a chance to respond. guest: i agree with the push for home ownership. it was the national partners in home ownership. it was a plan to push for this. the banks make a tremendous amount of money on these mortgages over the years. they weren't doing it just to
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respond to government pressure. they were immensely profitable, incredible amounts of money were made making these loans in junk fees and interest rates. until the music stopped, they were extremely profitable to banks. it wasn't just that day were being charitable. it was a goal for them to increase their earnings. the reselling of the mortgages was so powerfully profitable on wall street. it is the joining of the hands between the government and private sector to push for home ownership that is the starting point for this crisis. host: do you think the banks bear some responsibility?
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caller: it would be silly to say not. they did have a hand in the transactions. to place all faults on the part of banks under pressure by liberal policy brought forth by government in order to have people "enjoy the american way of life" i think is a mistake. that government could recreate -- recorrect the situation by having the pendulum swing the other way, we're seeing over qualifications. it is a big problem. one year my son has been paying interest on a construction loan. a mortgage broker cannot present a package properly, particularly under the usda program. it has been an absolute
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nightmare. host: frank from a south carolina. brian from madison, ohio, good morning. caller: good morning. my wife is an officer. this problem did not exist during the clinton administration. as soon as bush let everything go. my wife is not allowed to say anything by law. these mortgages were being approved when she knew it was no way that these people could afford these mortgages. it was ridiculous.
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the balloon payment -- those people that should be involved in being able to see whether somebody is qualified or not. guest: absolutely true. the fact that your wife was overridden was one factor contributing to the crisis. people tried to restore hands and say this is not right. there were so profitable. there was this push. they were run over by the opposition. i sympathize with her circumstance. host: gretchen morgenson, thank you for joining us. >> tomorrow morning, a virginia
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made thean s conservative case for increased tax revenue. also, the legislative agenda for the new congress. "washington journal" every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. in about 15 minutes, the house will reconvene. here's a look at some of the debate from earlier today. holt: i commend the work of my colleagues on this bill. it has some good features and should help smooth the way for recovery from hurricane sandy. the delay in getting this bill and more importantly the delay on getting the supplemental appropriations bill for hurricansandy to the floor has only compounded problems for sandy's victims in new jersey and elsewhere. i wish that this bill had included language removing a
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real impediment faced by our towns. m told that the appropriators in the legislation coming to the floor tomorrow are showing unusual respect for house rules and won't use their supplemental appropriations bill to change legislation but only to appropriate funds. so that the standards 6535 army corps of engineers formula will not be changed. in other words, towns must you put up 35% of the project cost for the corps of engineers to make the repairs that they would make. and the construction costs are high. many towns in my state will not be able to come up with the 35% cost share match for a multimillion-dollar construction project. but the appropriators aren't authorizers, they say.
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well, what we have before us now is coming frothe authorizing committee. they could have fixed this, and i wish this bill had been brought up in such a way that we could fix this match. as the president had asked in his request for the emergency funds. . this bill should streamline the process but we should have a 90-10 match. so that these towns that are strapped for funds because of the dage of hurricane san joaquin and because they've exceeded -- sandy and because they've exeded their borrowing limits would be able to come up with a smaller amount of money so that the construction by the corps of engineers could get under way. i'm happy to see this streamlined process that will get aid to individuals and municipalities in the wake of future storms like hurricane sandy. i wish that we could have used this opportunity to fix the
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65-35 match and make it a 90-10 match as the president had requested. that certainly would have helped the towns in new jersey and connecticut and new york. and i thank the gentlelady for yielding the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. >> i would just remind the gentleman from new jersey that this bill was passed in september by this house and has been sitting in the senate september, even though the president's own appointee, director fugate, has been asking for this bill. it has been sitting. so we're looking forward to a bipartisan solution thatets done before march. so that we can actually help out the sandy relief fund. i just wanted to point to a couple quick facts. mr. denham: the katrina use study center projectexample in louisiana, as you'll see from th chart, katrina started in 2005. that was the disaster. here's what the governor's office has put together. this one project isn't going t be done until 2016.
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after 18 meetings and seven years of bureaucratic red tape this one project won't be done until 2016. that's if all goes well. louisiana hopes to finish this. that's 11 years after katrina. the single biggest factor in cost increases is time and these delays will almost double the project from $15 milli to $28 million. fema has spent almost $5 million on a temporary facility alone. there are literally thoupses of projects like this a-- thousands of projects like this across the gulf coast and there will be thousands more of budget-busting projects in new york and new jersey if we don't get has to reforms signed into laufment at this time, madam speaker, i'd like to yield three minute to the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo. the speaker pro tempore: the gentman from mississippi is recognized for three minutes. plazzplazz thank you, madam speaker. i rise today -- mr. palazzo: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of this act. i want to thank chairman shuster, congressman denham and the entire transportation infrastructure committee for their work to bring this very
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important piece of disaster relief reform legislation to the floor this week. last tuesday i had the opportunity to travel to the hardest-hit areas of new york and new jersey to see firsthand the damage caused by hurricane san joaquin -- sandy. it immediately reminded me of the devastation we in mississippi experienced after hurricane katrina just seven years ago. when you look at the response to hurricanes such as sandy and katrina and other superstorms that have hit in recent years, there is no doubt in my mind that we have a broken system. last week i took a vote against propping up a bankrupt and broken system without any serious reforms and today i proudly stand before this body to advocate for some commonsense reforms on how we administer disaster relief. the sandy recovery improvement act of 2013 scheduled for consideration today is the first step in a much in a much longer process of reforming our disasterelief system. improving resiliency, increasing
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mitigation efforts and changing the way we pay for disaster relief will be key to this discussion. i'm especially grateful for the committee's work in adding my language to this bill that will require fema to develop recommendations to congress for a national strategy to ruce future costs and loss of life associated with tse extreme weather events. make no mistake, the northeast needs our help now in ensuring the victims of sandy receive the relief they so desperately require and need and i want to encourage my colleagues to join me in support of both today's bill and the remaining sandy relief measures we will take up this week. but i also believe there's no better time to address the very real needs of our broken disaster relief system. we must not only build back, we must build forward. that's why i'm proud to support this legislation, to improve and streamline disaster relief in our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia.
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ms. norton: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to see that the gentleman from mississippi has done what we have always done when any part of our country faces disaster, we all closed in and we really closed in like nothing you've ever seen when mississippi and louisiana and nobody from the east coast rose have any problem with moving in. what reforms this bill now contains are reforms that chairman denham and before chairman denham came to the congress, reforms that have been in our bill for some time, it is true that these have not come out and we have got a lever now to get them out and when we get them out they're going to help mississippi and louisiana and they have more of this than the east coast has ever had and it's going to help all the unforeseen places that now we are seeing experience precisely what only certain parts of the country before had had to endure.
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i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker and i thank very much the gentlelady for the clarification from the district of columbia and i ankly thank you for having the wisdom in months and years back to have these corrections and these improvementsn fema and inow they welcome it. i am a senior member of the homeland security committee and served as a ranking member on the transportation security. but no first -- know firsthand as the committee that shares jurisdiction over fema, firsthand in living color the catastrophe and tragedy of hurricane katrina, both in my visits and almost living in new orleans, as many of our members did, and then in welcoming over a quarter of a million-plus of new orleansans into houston, texas. being there inside the astrodome and seeing eons and layers of
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beds of people who are americans and who were americans who one could not call them broken. those survivors, if you will, from hurricane katrina were not broken. they were people who had worked and had homes and paid taxes. so today, madam speaker, those who are survivors of hurricane sandy are not broken. they are not the corrstone of the fault of reaucracy or misuse. they are in fact survivors. they are americans who need our help. and i'd like to add to this discussion certainly i join and want to comment on one or two of the changes here. in particular the individual assistance factors i think will be very helpful to expedite the declaration press for individuals. i'm very grateful that one of e changes they made, thank goodness, and this is what happened to our seniors, fixing their homes instead of putting them in fema trailers. what a celebration.
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how many had to stay in fema trailers down in the gulf forever and ever and ever while they watched their homes deteriorate because a few simple repairs could not be made? that is a much-needed step. but i join my colleague from new jersey and say, how can people who are broken and who are in need come up with 35%? and i hope that this will be one that is reconsidered. let me quickly suggest that i am in support of the $5.4 billion for fema disaster relief. i'm in support for the $5.4 billion for the department of transportation. anybody who's been on the east coast and seen the transportation corridor and the congestion and the sin jism between new jersey, pennsylvania, connecticut and new york realize that this is crucial. the $3.9 billion for community block grant, i am told that there are hurricane sandy islanders, people on stanton island, people on kony island,
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who are living in w york downtown hotels. i'm sure in a better day they would enjoy living in highrise, high-class hotels but they are people who want to go back to their home and i'm delighted that we'll have that. and then iant to suprt the additional amendment that calls for the gentleman from new jersey, $33 million, unvetted dollars, that will help an additional -- in additional resources. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. does -- ms. norton: i yield the gentlelady 30 more seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentlelady. and i believe that we should have done this last week. but i kn that my colleagues will be reading the constitution tomorrow. so let me read from article one, section eight. the congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties imposed and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the united states. my god, my god, can we provide
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for the general welfare of those hurricane sandy survivors who are not victims but have lost loved ones and in fact are the second most costly hurricane in america's history, katrina, sandy and hurricane ike. i speak from what i know. i beg of this congress toote for the new jsey amendment for $33 billion and as well the others and let us be able to look back on their needs and go back to the table to help them if they are in ed. constitution asks us to do that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. denham: madam speaker, the sandy recovery improvement act will speed up recovery efforts and reduce costs. i want to just touch on one important piece of this legislation. it will allow greater flexibility to reduce rebuilding time and lower costs. this gives the local governments greater flexibility to consolidate or rebuild facilities by allowing fema to issue fix grants on the basis of
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damage estimates instead of a traditional reimbursement program. why that's important, in my area, in the central valley of california, we had huge flooding. and as any emergency, you're not prepared, you didn't anticipate it, especially where we have such a huge shortage of water in the central valley. when the flooding hit, there was a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between local, state and federal government, who pays for what, a lot of delays and waiting. with these cost estimates up front, we basically just say, spend the money on those estimates and the fema money is there immediately. so, we not only helped treduce costs but most importantly when you've got a devastated community, what you need is speed. of recovery. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: i want to agree with the chairman of the subcommittee about cost estimates. and how it saves money and how
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it is one of the many lessons learne thai think will be acted out in this bill. madam speaker, this bill is a down payment, all understand this. we understand that the devastation done in four states i believe it is was of a magnitude of what we experienced for the first time at the gulf coast. and we are all going to come around and wre going to do what we're supposeto dat times like this. but when we have a major event like this,t dup does not pay the -- it does not pay to simply go along doing things the way we have always done them. this is when things get corrected, this bill is a good step toward correcting what our committee and our subcommittee have tried to do >> we will leave this now and take you back to the floor of
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the house. ouse. lerk eaker pro tempore: c will report the title. the clerk: resolved that at 10:30 a.m. on monday, january 21, 2013, the house shall proceed to the west front of the capitol for the purpose of attending the inaugural ceremonies of the president and vice president of the united states and upon conclusion of the ceremony the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. on tuesday, january 22, 2013, for morning hour debate an noon for legislate i business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed to and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. >> i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourn today it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and two, when the house adjourns on that day, it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. on wednesday, january 26, 20 -- january 15, 2013.
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and when the haas adjourn on that day it adjourn to meet at 3:00 p.m. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, votes will be taken in the following order. number one, the motion to suspend the rules on h.r. 219 by the yeas and nays. and approval of the journal by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. the second electronic vote will be conducted as a five-minute vote. the unfinished business is on -- a vote on the motion by the gentleman from california, mr. denham, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 219 on which the yeas and nays are order. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 19 a bill to improve and streamline disaster assistance for hurricane sandy and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the
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bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are -- the speaker: on this vote, the yeas are 300, the nays are 95. two voting present. the journal stands approved. the house will be in order.
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the house will be in order. will members please take their seats. will members please clear the well. the chair will proceed when the house is in order. the representatives-elect have presented themselves in the house. the representative hfed elect will raise their right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies
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foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you're about to enter, so help you god? congratulations, you're now members of the 113th congress. under clause d of rule 20, the chair announces to the house that in light of the administration of the oath to the gentlewoman from florida and the gentlemen from oregon and california, the whole number of the house is now 433.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move that the house -- madam speaker. i move that the -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman fromical. >> i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman -- a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 39 -- four, the no's are 397. the motion is not adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> by direction. democratic caucus i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration.
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 22. resolution electing members to certain standing committees of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. crenshaw of flar are florida foer for today and the balance of the week, mr. culberson of texas for today, ms. jackson lee of texas for today after 6:45 p.m. and use it, january 15, mrs. napolitano on january 14, 15 and 16. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted.
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the chair is prepared to entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house four one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, as i speak on the house floor, there are guns by the doors. to the north, to the south, to the east, to the west. on the roof, on all of the entrances and by the steps. the armed guards of the excellent capitol police protecting us. but most citizens don't have government guards protecting them 24/7. many people feel defenseless. some people of this chamber expect protection for themselves while advocating more restrictions on guns for the people of america. hypocrisy at its highest. in fact, one of the proposals for more gun laws mirrors the
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stringent laws of d.c. gun law. if the d.c. gun laws worked, d.c. would not be such a violent city. if d.c. gun laws worked, why do we have so many armed guards at the capitol? the elites forget it's the shooter, not the gun. they want more government power and control while taking away liberty from the rest of us. they want to punish the guns, not the people who commit crimes with guns. they want to keep their special government protection while redlining the second amendment for the people. they say, protection for me but not for thee. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. davis: mr. speaker, yesterday i had the opportunity to experience a great event in the community where i live and work. the people had a tribute to dr. martin luther king who happened
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to have lived in that community for a period of time. in chicago. we went to all of the places that he used to eat, where all the meetings were held. it was quite an emotional experience. especially for those who were there, got a chance to know him, to meet him, to shake his hand. so i simply commend those residents, friends, neighbors of mine, for making sure that the king dream lives on. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, the russian president recently signed a law to prevent american citizens from adopting russian children. sadly it appears that the russian government is playing politics with children, destroying the dreams of many americans already in the process of adopting. last year alone nearly 1,000
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russian children were adopted by american families, many of which struggle with physical disabilities. mr. fitzpatrick: every child deserves the opportunity to be raised in a caring environment. over the past 20 years, almost 60,000 russian children have been welcomed into the united states. many of these children have found loving parents in my congressional district. regrettably president putin's new law now takes away this possibility. this law not only prohibits future adoptions, but even more disturbingly it attempts to put a halt to those already in progress. among those impacted is a family from my district, mark and april rill who were in the process of -- april, who were in the process of adopting two children from russia. after months of paperwork, background checks an interviews, this family's dreams are now crushed and there's dozens of cases out there just like theirs. it is truly disturbing that the russian government would punish parentless children in retaliation for an entirely unrelated american law. we all know that the well-being of children should not be used
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as a bargaining chip for diplomatic means. this weekley be introducing a house resolution to right this wrong. please join me in sending a clear message to the russian government. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from tennessee seek recognition? without objection. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. big abortion businesses are getting rich. and they don't deserve or need our federal tax dollars. that's why on the first day of this congress i introduced the title 10 abortion provider prohibition act. it's h.r. 61. planned parenthood's 2011-2012 annual report showed they received a record $542 million in taxpayer funding while simultaneously performing a record number of abortions. actually, one every 94 seconds. so in 94 seconds, they performed
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that abortion, they take in over $1,600 in federal taxpayer money and their funding has increased by 11% in the last two years. even though former employees of planned parenthood say the organization promotes sex selection, abortions, engages in could he hearsive behavior and fails to maintain financial records in accordance with the law. i encourage my colleagues to support h.r. 61 so we can get a hold on this big abortion businesss, hold them accountable, clean up the title 10 grant program and end taxpayer funneling -- funding of abortion. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise to express my grave concern over recent media reports that the
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administration is considering issuing executive orders to further their radical antigun control legislation. the battle to protect the second amendment rights of all citizens rages on in congress and this is the appropriate place for such debate. not in the dark of the night through executive orders as the obama administration has become so fond of doing. gun control advocates prey on the fears of americans, claiming that stricter gun laws will result in reduced gun violence. mr. collins: that theory is false and is dangerous to the sanctity of the united states constitution. security can only come through the preservation of individual liberty such as the right to defend one's home and one's family. we should protect the right to keep and bear arms as fiercely as we protect the right of free speech, the freedom of religion and of due proelse is. i urge my colleagues to oppose any efforts by the administration to restrict the rights of gun ownership through executive orders and commit to the american people to tirelessly defend all of their constitutional rights on the
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floor of this house, including the right of gun ownership. i yield back, mr. speaker. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north dakota seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulation the north dakota state university head coach on winning another national championship this year in frisco, texas. they are well known as a student-focused land grant university with more than 14,000 students offering over 100 majors, covering everything from architecture, food science and engineering, to business, biotechnology, and interior design. the victory over sam houston state was the bisons' second
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consecutive championship, impressive especially because they only became a division i school eight years ago. i am agreed to -- pleased that the coach has agreed to a contract extension rather than pursuing a career in politics. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. are there any further one-minute requests? if there are none, urn the speaker's announced spoil of january 23, 20 -- of january 3rks2013, the gentlelady from ohio, ms. fudge, is recognized as the designee of the minority leader. ms. fudge: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislate i days to revise and extend their remarks on the subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. fudge: thank you very much, mr. speaker. the congressional black caucus, better known as the c.b.c., is proud to anchor this hour. my name is marcia fudge and i
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represent the second congressional district of ohio and i'm chair of the congressional black caucus. c.b.c. members stand firm as the voice of the people and the conscience of the congress. we are dedicated to providing service to those who elected us to this offer. tonight we focus on the culture of violence. with no end in sight, the culture of violence continues to permeate and define our society, mr. speaker. we cannot hide from it. it is everywhere we go. merriam webster defines an epidemic as something affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large numb of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time. it is clear the culture of violence is an american epidemic. it is time for us to face the music.
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we are complicit in the violence that takes place in our nation if we fail to strengthen our gun laws, if we fail to invest more resources into our mental health services and address the issues of bullying. we must take a meaningful and immediate action to eradicate the culture of violence in our country. mr. speaker, this evening i am joined by a number of members of the congressional black caucus and i yield to my friend from chicago, mr. danny davis. mr. davis: thank you very much. i thank the chairman of the congressional black caucus for not only anchoring this hour but also for providing opportunity for the rest of us. i have decided to develop a statement, but then i had 16 young students visit me this afternoon. from oak park, illinois. they presented to me their statement. their statement was so similar to my statement that i told them
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that their statement was better than mine and i would use it. so i'm going to read it as they presented it to me. they said, hello, my name is joey, and my name is sebastian. we're here on behalf of the religious action center of reformed judaism to talk about gun violence prevention. we hope that you will offer support for the fix on gun checks when it was introduced. unfortunately, it took an inconceivable amount of gun-related tragedies to once again raise awareness of the need for stricter gun laws. nearly every day i hear on the news that a child has been shot to death in my very own city. statistics furthermore
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illuminate this occurrence as eight young americans die each day under the age of 19, from gun violence. by june of 2012, 228 people were killed in the city of chicago. in that same period of time, 144 united states soldiers have been killed in afghanistan. instead of continuously cringing as these attacks -- at these attacks in disbelief every time we read them, it is time to curb the pat herb of violence that's made the inner city streets more violent than our very own battlefield. today marks the anniversary of one of the most horrific mass shootings in our nation's history. on this day i personally think about the innocent 20 children whose lives were prematurely taken at a peaceful elementary school and i wonder what the
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difference in the world would be if those 20 children -- for those 20 children and what it could have been that they helped to make it that day we realized we had seen this too many times before. mass shootings grab our attention by surprise and everyone that -- and every one that we see we feel a sense of deja vu. at first, people's position and passion for change is reignited and the driving force of action is full throttling. -- full throttle. but as weeks go by, the clamor guys -- dies down. the memory of the victims fades from our consciousness. until another shooting occurs. i and people of this country have grieved over too many caskets. it is time to match our words with actions. in the talmud a collection of jewish laws and lessons, we are taught that he who takings one
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life, it is as the he has destroyed a universe and he who saves a life, it is as though he saved a universe. as jewish people, coming from a jewish school, and a jewish synagogue, this question and quotationres. ig nates strongly with us. it stills me it is not only to save lives in immediate danger but to prevent the loss of life in general. it has become clear to many of us and for some it has been clear for quite some time that an effective way to prevent death in our country and in essence save a universe is to enact a policy that would stem the flow of gun violent. gun violent in our country takes 22 times the amount of lives that it does in the other 25 wealthiest nations combined. it is clear that in our nation, guns are a major problem.
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we are told to save lives, and we can do that. so i would urge every american to know that lives saved is like saving a universe. i thank you, mr. speaker. i thank you, madam chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. ms. fudge: i thank my friend from illinois for those words and bringing us the words of young people who are affected by this violence every day. mr. speaker, we are joined by former cheer of the c.b.c., representative barbara lee, the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: thank you very much. first let me thank congresswoman fudge, our new chair of the congressional black caucus for bringing us together tonight to discuss this important issue and also i want to say that congresswoman fudge is such a tremendous leader and now as
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chair of the congressional black caucus has charted a very powerful course for equity, for justice and for nonviolence. thank you for your leadership. i can think of no more important subject tonight than the culture of violence which congresswoman fudge has brought us here together to discuss tonight, specifically gun violence that's been destroying communities, taking lives and injured too many people for much too long across america. as president obama so eloquently said at the -- said the sunday after the tragedy in newtown, which shook the conscience of this country and which we all still and continue to mourn and our our -- offer our dnd and of our condolences to the friends and family well, cannot accept the violence, the president said. this is visited on children year and year and somehow it's the price of freedom. we cannot accept this. we cannot accept one more
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innocent life being lost to violent. not one in newtown, not one in chicago. or cleveland. not one in oakland, california. not one in any more towns, in any city, in any school, in any theater or in any place of worship new york any mall or in any of our neighborhoods. we have an obligation to our children to ensure that newtown marks a turning point that made us finally say enough is enough. we must come together to build an america where our children do not have to live in fear and where they do have a future. last week, i was at an event in my district in west oakland. it was the unveiling of a mural, painted by several talented young artists. this tree of life mural deticketed the hope and faith that my young people have for a future without violence. yet they've seen and experienced so much gun violence in their
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communities throughout their young lives, just over the weekend, 11 people were tragically shot in my congressional district. too many of my constituents have been affected by gun violent. have pleaded for help in protecting their children from the horrors of gun violence only to see the status quo continue at the federal level. mr. speaker, we need to take some serious action that includes common sense measures such as frl gun buyback programs, banning high capacity mag -- magazines, closing the gun show loopholes and reinstituting this the assault weapon ban. we need to do this immediately. we also need to work to end domestic vifpblese in our homes and re-authorize the violence against women act, for whatever reason, unfortunately, it got stuck last congress. we need to do this right away. we must also seek input from our
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young people, community stake holders, faith communities, and others. we can work together to identify the causes of the more than 16,000 homicides a year. let me call to your attention the work of a magnificent community organization in my district called the martin luther king jr. freedom center. these young people continue to work on conflict resolution and violence prevention efforts tai and nouth. -- and night but they tell us their work is thwarted due to too many guns in the streets. finally we must recognize gun violence is a critical public health crisis and continue to support comprehensive violence prevention plans. this week, congresswoman delauro and myself are offering an amendment to end a prohibition, congresswoman fudge, this is mind-boggling when you see this. we have a pricks on the department of health and human services that would not allow us to analyze gun violence in terms
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of public health. we have a prohibition against that. we're try to offer an amendment to take away this prohibition. as a psychiatric fellowship worker by profession, someone who founded a community mental health center when the psychiatric communities starred to shut down in california, i understand firsthand why we need to help people struggling with mental illness, give them the help they need and reduce the stigma associated with seeking help. so i will once again introduce my bill to introduce mental health counselors to schools to help children and families struggling with emotional issues. they could be on the brink but counselors could steer them away from that. we can't allow the status quo to continue, to allow our children and grandchildren to grow up in this culture of violence, in a world where vibles threatens our homes and communities. let me thank again congresswoman fudge for gathering us to
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discuss this important issue. i want to remind us, next monday we once again celebrate the birthday of our great drum major for justice, the prince of peace, dr. martin luther king jr. we must rededicate our lives to the principles of nonviolence which are more important now more than ever. dr. king reminded us violence should never be an option if we want a world worthy of our children and grandchildren. as a major part of this, it does mean getting guns off the streets an working for a culture of peace and security. thank you again. ms. fudge: thank you so much. i thank my good friend from california because as she was chair of the congressional black caucus it was she who gave me the opportunity to anchor this hour for my first two years as a freshman in this caucus. i thank you. . my friend from texas, congressman al green, a pleasure to have you with us this evening. mr. green: thank you, madam
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chair. and i thank the speaker for the time. i congratulate you, madam chair, on being the newly elected chairperson of the c.b.c. and i pledge to work with you to do all that i can to assist you. not only with the many programs that we have, but also with ending this culture of violence. madam chair, on this, the eve of the birthday of dr. king, it is appropriate to quote him. he reminded us that the truest measure of the person is not where you stand in times of comfort and convenience. when all is right with the world, your health is good, your bills are paid. friends are all around. the truest measure of the person is where do you stand in times of challenge and controversy?
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challenge and controversy, when young people are dying in the street, when -- when domestic violence is claiming the lives of spouses and lovers and friends, when churches are being shot up. where do you stand? let's talk for just a moment about some of these circumstances. i attended a funeral just recently. it was the funeral of ms. latosha jones. mrs. jones was killed on christmas eve, december, 2012. she lost her life in the presence of her son. her daughter lost her life as well. victim of domestic violence. it's one thing to know and use the term victim.
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another thing to attend the funeral of a victim. it was a sad occasion. mother and daughter, son there to only suffer heartache knowing that he will never see his mother or his sister again. i have the program from that funeral and i had the obituary. i shall place this in the record . gang violence. in my district, robert batiste was a vic tiff of gang vie -- victim of gang violence and on august, 2012, at his funeral there was a shootout at the church. where do you stand when you have gang violence and domestic violence? joshua woods, 22 years of age, went out to buy a new pair of
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sneakers december, 2012. on the way home accosted, lost his life, shot, died over sneakers. i had the opportunity to speak to his mother just recently. it was a heartbreaking conversation for a mother to explain how her son worked hard and this was something that he had worked hard for. he was a good kid. his mother loved him. when the natural order of things is circumvented it's very difficult to reconcile. and then i would call to your attention ryan spikes. killed in a drive-by shooting at a spring break party.
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indiscriminant violence. where do we stand, is the question that dr. king would put to us. but he would also remind us that we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we will perish together as fools. and the notion of a gun for a gun is not the solution. we tried eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. that only leads us blind and -- leaves us blind and toothless. guns will lead to shootouts. this is not the solution. we must do more not only to rid society of these weapons of war, but also to help our children learn that they can live together as brothers and sisters . there is but one race and that's the human race. we were all created by god to live in harmony.
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and we must teach our children that they should respect each other and live together with each other. this is not an easy task. there will be no silver bullet there will be no easy solution. -- bullet, there will be no easy solution. but we have to do all we can when you can't do enough you have a duty to do all that you can. i pledge to do all that i can to work with you, madam chair. to make sure that we end domestic violence, gang violence, indiscriminant violence and that we don't resort to a gun for a gun which is a newer version of an eye for an eye. i yield back the balance of my time. ms. fudge: i thank my friend. thank you so very much. i now yield to the vice chair of the congressional black caucus and my good friend from new york , representative clarke. ms. clarke: mr. speaker, i'd like to thank the gentlelady from ohio, ms. fudge, for summoning us to be a part of
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this special order this evening. and it is quite timely as we mark the one-month anniversary of the slaughter of the innocents in newtown, connecticut. and as we all reflect on the many challenges that we face within our own neighborhoods, our own communities, longstanding wreckless gun violence. mr. speaker, just last week a 90-year-old woman by the name of gloria johnson, 90 years old, was shot twice as she walked to the laundsry mat in east -- laundry mat in east new york, brooklyn. she lived 90 years to be gunned down in brooklyn, new york. two weeks ago ak-47 shells were found in queens, new york. at the scene of the murder of a 17-year-old child.
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ak-47's. you find those types of shells in a rock in afghanistan. not in queens, new york. but there's a new reality that we're all facing and that is assault weapons in an urban environment. and this summer, a young 13-year-old boy named ronald walz iii was -- wallace iiii was not? the back by a barrage of gunfire in the streets of brownsville, brooklyn, within my own district. although new york city has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, senseless crimes like these occur all too frequently in my district and across new york city and in other urban communities across the united states. in 2012 the new york city police department reported 226
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incidents of handgun violence in brooklyn, new york, alone. illegal grun trafficking and gaping holes in federal background check requirements are to blame for many of these ins dents. 8 -- incidents. 85% of the guns used in crimes in new york city are first purchased in states like virginia and georgia that do not extend the background check to purchase limitation requirements for private sellers. mr. speaker, i stand with my fellow law makers in congress, with mayor michael bloomberg, with governor cuomo, in demanding federal legislation that specifically addresses illegal trafficking of guns across state lines. and the requirement of background checks in all gun purchase transactions.
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to truly put an end to the random gun violence that playings new york city and other -- plagues new york city and other areas, however, we must also address other policy areas to have profound effects on the level of gun violence that we see. yes, i agree that mental health and mental illness are important factors that have to be explored and addressed when trying to mitigate against gun violence. however, there's some additional factors that contribute to what has become tantamount to a public health crisis. one such factor is poor educational outcome. according to the american economic review, one year increase in the average years of education completed reduces violent crime by nearly 30%. in fact, between 2000 and 2005, new york state increased its
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higher education expenditures by roughly 40%. during the same period the state violent crime rate decreased by roughly 20%. these statistics are an indication that there is a direct correlation between investment in education and the reduction of violent crime, specifically gun crime. it is my hope that any legislative measure brought to the floor for consideration also takes into account true and real investment in the inadequate or ineeffectual educational systems across this nation. by bolstering our educational institutions, we help set our children on a path to success instead of one that leads to violent crime, death and incarceration. gun violence is not an
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inevitable part of life. yet it continues to plague our communities. we're not helpless in this endeavor. we owe it to our constituents, to our nation and to future generations to act with urgency and conviction to put an end to the senseless pattern of gun violence not only in suburban america but in every community across this nation, urban america as well. mr. speaker, my colleagues, i look forward to working with you in whatever capacity necessary to save another family from the hurt, the harm and the trauma of the senseless act of violence that takes place in our communities across this nation due to illegal handguns and gun trafficking. with that, madam chair, i yield
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back the balance of my time. ms. fudge: i thank the gentlelady from new york. mr. speaker, i want you to know that the gentlelady from new york has been a strong and steady voice in our caucus and i so much appreciate it. mr. speaker, i now yield to my colleague from ohio who i'm so pleased has joined this house, the honorable joyce beatty, the gentlelady from ohio. mrs. beatty: thank you, madam chair, thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to take my first opportunity to address my colleagues on the house floor, to participate in a discussion on an issue that i find very troubling, at a crisis point for our nation. but first let me thank our chairwoman, ms. fudge, for her outstanding leadership and for organizing this special order hour to address the issue of the senseless violence facing our nation. our country more than ever is
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facing a culture of violence. unfortunately we are now living in a society where mass killings have gone from being an extremely rare occurrence to a common occurrence. according to harvard healthy policy review, each year approximately 30,000 people in the united states die as a result of gun violence. and about 80,000 people are wounded. we are faced with living in a culture where now more than 6.6 million violent crimes, murder, rape, assault and robbery are committed each year. we are living in a culture of violence where our children see 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence in media and in

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CSPAN January 14, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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